Editorial – Not Just the Facts

We’re in the closing weeks of the year. Soon eyes will turn to top ten lists of the year, resolutions, and exclamations about where the year went.

AU is closing for the holidays soon, and many of us will make promises to use this time to really forge ahead on our courses or other tasks we’ve been too busy to get around to, knowing even as we do that the chances of that really happening are unlikely. There’s just too much to do during the season, whether it’s hanging out with friends or family, shopping, cooking, or even the surprise Christmas gift that we just can’t pull ourselves away from.

But take heart, you’re not alone. We’ve all been there, we’ve all done that, and we’ll likely all do it again as well, and yet, we still persevere somehow. I’ve seen a couple people in the Facebook group posting about how, as they near the completion of their courses, motivation falls away, and they get understandably frustrated at themselves. AU is difficult because it’s often hard to see that when something like that happens, it really isn’t just you, so your failures become magnified in your own eyes.

All of this leads into our feature article this week, as Deanna Roney looks at the season and urges us to remember what it stands for; not the religious meaning, but the other meanings the season has come to encompass, of tolerance and compassion, of reconnecting to what’s important to you. Essentially, of “Remembering Christmas”

This is also the season where the bills start to stack up, but, once again, The Voice Magazine brings you some tips on where you might be able to find a little bit extra, as Barb L. fills us in on the upcoming bursary opportunities from AUSU. Their November awards deadline passed recently, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start planning for the next deadline.

If I can make one comment on current events, this week, the news has been about how Russia is alleged to have interfered in the United States’ election. Whether they did or didn’t, and from what I’ve seen it seems likely that they did, we’re looking at the wrong problem. Without tampering with voting machines, which so far there’s been no evidence of, all their interference seems to be is publishing emails revealing the sausage factory that happens in politics. And while, unfortunately for the democrats, it was only their sausage factory that was exposed, the biggest influence that the hacks had was giving some fodder for the news cycle. As we’ve seen in the days following however, a far bigger influence was likely the fake news that was emerging every day.

Now fake news has lead a man to shoot up a restaurant, thinking it hid a child-sex ring. But what all this tells us is that Russian hacking isn’t the problem. Fake news isn’t the problem. The problem is that we’re not educating people in how to think critically and investigate impartially. If we really want a better world, we need to overhaul our primary education system. We cannot simply teach facts anymore, because that teaches people that facts get handed to us. Yet, these days, it seems that’s no longer the case.

Enjoy the read!

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